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Jason Pawlak

Husband, Dad, Navy Officer, Coder, and Tinkerer. I have many interests and am always looking to learn something new. This site is a launching point to the many areas of the Internet that represent me.

Dear Monterey, I blame you for my running


Dear Monterey California,

Recently, I have started running distance.  Right around the time that ‘recently’ took place, the family and I moved out here, to you, Monterey County, California.   For those that are reading this open letter and have not made it out this way… Monterey is where the year round weather is mild 60’s with a light breeze, no bugs that bite you when you attempt to spend a few seconds with skin exposed to fresh air, and the ocean is like right there with never ending mesmerizing waves while beautiful hills/mountains oppose.

Monterey … is … awesome !!!


So why not run?  Right?  I admit, I had no intentions of running long distances when we moved to you.  I had been running quite a bit on a treadmill during my recent world cruise (deployment).  But the only real bit of exercise with intent I had in mind was getting our horizontally expanding pup, Daisy, to shed a few pounds.  That and seeing if getting some energy expended by our psycho pup, Jolie, would settle her down a bit.


Really, all the running kinda-just-sorta happened.  No sudden burst of marathoning motivation (more on this later).  No get-fit challenge by friends or family.  And no threat of rare disease where the only cure was to make like Forest Gump and “Just Run!”

Really, Monterey, I just blame you.  This is your fault.

You see what happened was … I took the pups and went for a few runs.  While out, however, I loved being outside so much that I just kept running.  I had only ran a distance of 6+ miles maybe three or four times in my life.  I had never really found that much joy in running.  It was good time to binge on some audio books and ensure the semi-annual Navy physical readiness test was going to go ok, but that was about it.

But you, Monterey, changed that.


Out on a run, I had no desire to take headphones and miss the sounds of crashing waves.  I did not want to focus on a book and perhaps miss deer, coyotes, and other critters carry on with their daily lives (I have and will continue to avoid the skunks…).  And with my fancy new GPS watch, I did not even want to bring my phone to way me down.

I just walk outside, hit start on the watch, and just … run.  Admire your beauty, say hello to the people and pups I pass, and let my mind wander through the miles.

My miles have increased, my pace has decreased, my health is great, and my feet hurt!

My first ‘official’ half-marathon is coming up in a few weeks and my first full-marathon is next Spring.


And I have you, Monterey, to blame.

I guess it goes without saying … but … see you soon!

Apparently yours, Jason

On Strava:

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